Matthew 3:1–12; Acts 3; Psalm 5; Genesis 12–14

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

hIn those days iJohn the Baptist came preaching in jthe wilderness of Judea, kRepent, for lthe kingdom of heaven is at hand.1 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

mThe voice of one crying in the wilderness:

nPrepare2 the way of the Lord;

make his paths straight.

Now John wore oa garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was plocusts and qwild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, rconfessing their sins.

But when he saw many of sthe Pharisees and tSadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, uYou brood of vvipers! Who warned you to flee from wthe wrath to come? Bear fruit xin keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, yWe have Abraham as our father, for I tell you, God is able from zthese stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. aEvery tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 bI baptize you with water cfor repentance, but dhe who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you ewith the Holy Spirit and ffire. 12 His gwinnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and hgather his wheat into the barn, ibut the chaff he will burn with junquenchable fire.


The Lame Beggar Healed

Now Peter and John were ogoing up to the temple at pthe hour of prayer, qthe ninth hour.1 And a man rlame from birth was being carried, swhom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate tto ask alms of those entering the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, Look at us. And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, uI have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. vIn the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk! And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And wleaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And xall the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Peter Speaks in Solomon’s Portico

11 yWhile he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in zthe portico called Solomon’s. 12 And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? 13 aThe God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, bthe God of our fathers, cglorified his servant2 Jesus, whom dyou delivered over and edenied in the presence of Pilate, fwhen he had decided to release him. 14 But you denied gthe Holy and hRighteous One, and iasked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 and you killed jthe Author of life, kwhom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16 And lhis nameby mfaith in his namehas made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is nthrough Jesus3 has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.

17 And now, brothers, I know that oyou acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But what God pforetold qby the mouth of all the prophets, that rhis Christ would ssuffer, he thus fulfilled. 19 tRepent therefore, and uturn back, that vyour sins may be blotted out, 20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ wappointed for you, Jesus, 21 xwhom heaven must receive until the time for yrestoring all the things about which zGod spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago. 22 Moses said, The Lord God will raise up for you aa prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen bto him in whatever he tells you. 23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet cshall be destroyed from the people. 24 And dall the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days. 25 eYou are the sons of the prophets and of fthe covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, gAnd in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 26 hGod, ihaving raised up his servant, sent him to you first, jto bless you kby turning every one of you from your wickedness.


Lead Me in Your Righteousness

To the choirmaster: for the flutes. A Psalm of David.

Give ear to my words, O Lord;

consider my ugroaning.

Give attention to the sound of my cry,

my vKing and my God,

for wto you do I pray.

O Lord, in xthe morning you hear my voice;

in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you1 and ywatch.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;

evil may not dwell with you.

The zboastful shall not astand before your eyes;

you bhate all evildoers.

You destroy those who speak clies;

the Lord abhors dthe bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,

will enter your house.

I will ebow down ftoward your gholy temple

in the fear of you.

hLead me, O Lord, in your righteousness

because of my enemies;

imake your way straight before me.

For there is no truth in their mouth;

their inmost self is jdestruction;

ktheir throat is lan open grave;

they mflatter with their tongue.

10  nMake them bear their guilt, O God;

let them ofall by their own counsels;

because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,

for they have rebelled against you.

11  But let all who ptake refuge in you qrejoice;

let them ever sing for joy,

and spread your protection over them,

that those who love your name may rexult in you.

12  For you sbless the righteous, O Lord;

you tcover him with favor as with ua shield.


The Call of Abram

12 Now mthe Lord said1 to Abram, Go from your country2 and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. nAnd I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. oI will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and pin you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.3

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from qHaran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram rpassed through the land to the place at Shechem, to sthe oak4 of tMoreh. At that time uthe Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, vTo your offspring I will give this land. So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of wBethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

Abram and Sarai in Egypt

10 Now xthere was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife. Then they ywill kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake. 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 But the Lord zafflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, She is my sister, so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go. 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

Abram and Lot Separate

13 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, ainto the Negeb.

bNow Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver, and in gold. And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to cthe place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the Lord. And Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents, so that dthe land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, eand there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time fthe Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land.

Then Abram said to Lot, gLet there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, hfor we are kinsmen.5 iIs not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left. 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the jJordan Valley was well watered everywhere like kthe garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of lZoar. (This was before the Lord mdestroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. 12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom nwere wicked, great sinners against the Lord.

14 The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, onorthward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give pto you and qto your offspring forever. 16 rI will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you. 18 So Abram moved his tent and came and ssettled by the toaks6 of Mamre, which uare at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.

Abram Rescues Lot

14 In the days of Amraphel king of vShinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of wElam, and Tidal king of Goiim, these kings made war with xBera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of yAdmah, Shemeber king of yZeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (zthat is, the Salt Sea). Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the aRephaim in bAshteroth-karnaim, the cZuzim in Ham, the dEmim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, and the eHorites in their hill country of Seir as far as fEl-paran on the border of the wilderness. Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, gKadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling hin Hazazon-tamar.

Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of ibitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled jto the hill country. 11 So the enemy took kall the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12 They also took Lot, lthe son of Abram’s brother, mwho was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.

13 Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, nwho was living by the ooaks7 of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, pborn in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as qDan. 15 And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot rwith his possessions, and the women and the people.

Abram Blessed by Melchizedek

17 After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the sKing’s Valley). 18 And tMelchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was upriest of vGod Most High.) 19 And he blessed him and said,

wBlessed be Abram by God Most High,

xPossessor8 of heaven and earth;

20  and blessed be God Most High,

who has delivered your enemies into your hand!

And Abram gave him ya tenth of everything. 21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself. 22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, zI have lifted my hand9 to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that aI would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, I have made Abram rich. 24 I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let bAner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.